In 2015, the annual deaths in Africa due to cancer surpassed those due to malaria. For many in the developed world, cancer is a life-changing disease – but it is no longer a death sentence. The same cannot be said for most cancer patients in Africa. Cancer is a growing crisis on the African continent. In the past two decades, cancer incidence in Africa has doubled and deaths due to cancer have increased 62%. This is in stark contrast to the United States, where cancer incidence has increased 60% but deaths have increased only 21%. Imagine your doctor sharing the devastating and life-changing news, “You have cancer.” Now imagine hearing those words in a region that accounts for 80% of all disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to cancer, where patients are diagnosed at advanced stages of disease, and there is only one doctor for every 37,000 people.
Cancer is a complex disease. This reality is further complicated for cancer patients in Africa, given the compounding limitations of skilled healthcare providers, adequate technology, laboratory capacity, and access to reliable therapeutics. This African cancer epidemic is anything but straightforward, yet it must be prioritized.
This panel session will explore the current state of cancer in Africa and describe how pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies can engage and begin to tackle this crisis before it’s too late. The panel will describe Africa’s cancer burden and the realities of cancer diagnosis and treatment on the continent. The discussion will include the perspective of government and industry in setting priorities, strategies, and access to medicines. Finally, the panel will discuss a new program launched by BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) – the African Access Initiative (AAI) – with the aim of improving cancer patient management and creating new business models to ensure affordable, sustainable access to essential cancer technologies and therapeutics in Africa.
Session ID: 25187